A Plumbing Checklist for Homebuyers

If you’ve ever purchased a home, you know that plumbing issues need to be top-of-mind. That’s because plumbing problems can be costly and time-consuming matters when homebuyers have to face them!

Inevitably, you will cope with some plumbing problems over your home’s lifespan. O’Connor Plumbing, your reliable plumbing contractor in the Metro DC area, has provided a list of steps that you can take to avoid walking into a home with pre-existing concerns. Simply follow the steps in this handy checklist, and you’ll be all set. If you find problems that concern you during the home-buying process, you will need to obtain estimates for repairing them and then address these in your purchasing offer and contract.

1. Look Out for Red Flags in the Pipes

The pipes are one of your most significant indicators that there’s a problem. You want to check the water pressure of the taps, turning on both the hot and cold water taps to ensure that both of them are working equally.

You should also be on the lookout for water that looks or smells “off.” Smelly water that emits a rotten-egg stench can signify bacteria in the water or an issue with the tank. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our expert team at O’Connor Plumbing to provide an assessment.

2. Check Piping Material

Similarly, make sure that the piping material is up to code. Older homes and businesses sometimes have lead piping, which is a considerable health hazard, especially for children. The CDC, or Center for Disease Control, recommends that you not consume water from lead pipes.

Most older homes are updated, but it never hurts to check, especially since lead is a hazardous substance.

3. Peek at the Pipes

Many other red flags exist that you need to be aware of concerning the piping. Corrosion is a big concern for new homeowners and could indicate a serious problem down the road. Always make sure that you look at both the interior and exterior pipes to ensure that they are all in good working order.

You can also ask your realtor or the current homeowners when they last fixed their pipes, and request a breakdown of any plumbing-related issues.

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4. Turn on the Shower

Many people will check the taps for issues, but they often neglect one vital part of the plumbing: the shower. Make sure that you turn on both the hot and cold water taps in the shower, and consider how long it takes the hot water to turn on completely.

You also want to take the water pressure into account since low water pressure could be an indication of problems in the pipes. Make sure that you check all of the showers in the house and raise any concerns with the current homeowners.

5. Flush the Toilets

Malfunctioning toilets are often one of the first signs of plumbing trouble—not an issue that you want to have as a new homeowner. Make sure that you inspect the toilets thoroughly, looking for water at the base and giving them a good flush.

You want to make sure that each toilet flushes correctly and that the water does not continue running for a long time after the flush, which could indicate an issue with the flushing mechanism or water pressure. You should also inspect the base and bowl of each toilet for structural problems, like cracks. If water is pooling at the base or you see visible water damage on the bathroom floor, it’s a pretty good sign of a structural issue.

In your contract, ask the homeowners to replace malfunctioning or old toilets before you move in. It will save you initial costs and grief.

6. Take a Look at the Water Heater

The water heater is one of the most essential items in a home, so you should ensure that it’s in good health before you make any commitments. Ask to see service records and information on the water heater itself.

Water heaters usually last between eight and 12 years and requires regular service. Make sure that the heater is clean, the pilot light is on, and that you see no signs of bulging. When in doubt, call in the experts to double-check.

7. Look for Water Damage in the Basement

Water damage in the basement can be a sign of structural problems, rotten pipes, or leaks. Such damage can also be costly to repair and may cause you significant issues with basement appliances, valuables, or furniture. Look for signs of water damage, like lines of demarcation on the walls or pooling near the water heater.

If you see anything that looks suspicious, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your realtor.

If You Need to Call in the Pros

O’Connor Plumbing, serving the DC Metro area, proudly offers our comprehensive 44-Point Inspection. This thorough inspection is excellent for new or prospective homeowners who want to make sure that their plumbing is in tip-top shape. We have 70 years of experience, expert technicians, and a track record of excellence. Don’t buy your next home without the O’Connor Plumbing stamp of approval. Call 1-833-RIGGO44 today!